Walmart, Amazon, Sears and eBay have taken the bold step to stop selling Confederate flag merchandise. The controversial flag, the recipient of worldwide attention in the aftermath of the Charleston shootings, has faced demands from the public for its removal.
The Confederate flag owes its place in southern history to a land that was made rich on the backs of beaten down slaves. It stands as a symbol of pride for those who hold firmly to the past, like a denizen of long forgotten ghosts. The pennant, waving seductively atop the houses of politicians and profiteers in the American south, not only speaks to the past, but also serves a stoic reminder of the blood that was spilled here, and those who prospered from this bloodshed. Now, thanks to a young man with a gun, it has joined the list of banned items in this country.
So, on the morrow of this massacre, the natural thing to do is ban the flag…not the gun. The bold move by these retailers to eliminate the ill-begotten banner from their inventory is a gesture 'full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.' They are making a stand that will have absolutely no impact on violence in America.
I grew up in the South. I encountered that obnoxious flag on a daily basis, but never once did it inspire me, or any of my friends to shoot up a church, nor any other lesser crimes attributed to the flag's opulence. Quite frankly, it was not the threat of police retaliation that kept us in line; it was my father's quicker than lightening belt-strap across the backside. It is not the flag that caused Dylan Roof to do what he did. It is the racist mentality that still considers a person to be of a higher value if their face is fairer.
Make no mistake, it is not a sign of historical remembrance, it is a stalwart of dominance and of denial. It is a not a flutter in the sweet summer breeze but a slap in the face of those African Americans who have gravestones in their family, who fell in their efforts to walk these roads, to drink at these water fountains and to eat anywhere they chose as free men.
I grew up in the south, but I did not stay. I left because I loathed being a part of a society that refused to change, to acknowledge its painful past, to embrace the hurt in a step toward healing.
My father always used to say that "the south would rise again," and in many ways it has. It has harkened back to a time when we determined a man's guilt by the color of his face. And it sickens me. But what sickens me more is the belittling of the issue to retail retribution that accounts for nothing. If these sellers really wanted to make a difference, they could reduce the amount of weaponry sold at any of the outlets. Really - who really needs a Hello Kitty AK47 for home protection? Stopping the sale of Creedence Clearwater Revival CDs and Blu-Ray copies of Dukes of Hazzard seems a rather trite response to lives lost. #News